Mark Harmon Opens Up About What Would Make Him Leave NCIS
NCIS star Mark Harmon has been the face of the CBS series since 2003, and in the past, he has talked about how he “got lucky” landing the role of Leroy Jethro Gibbs , while not being shy about discussing his commitment and how hard he works to make the show successful. But, with NCIS wrapping up Season 16, could there be anything that would make Harmon leave the highest-rated drama on network television?
Over the past four decades, Harmon has had one of the most successful TV careers an actor could hope for. Before NCIS, Harmon starred on St. Elsewhere, and he was also a cast member on Chicago Hope and The West Wing . He has also been on the silver screen with roles in Summer School, Freaky Friday, and The Presidio . Harmon knows success, and he knows NCIS is a sweet gig, but if the show’s writers ever lose their mojo, that would be the time to walk away.
“Right now our writers are all very up and excited. You can see it on their faces. Now, if I ever witness them walking into the writers’ room with their heads down, feeling they’ve done it all, that would be the time to say, ‘I think I’m done here,’” says Harmon.
He added that right now, there is still a real feeling of creativity in the writers’ room, and a sense of reinvention on set. Harmon also mentioned the addition of Mario Bello to the cast, and he noted that she joined the show because she wanted to, and that says a lot.
Over the years, NCIS has seen the exit of some major characters, including Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) and Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette), but the show remains fresh with interesting new personalities and backstories.
NCIS will be back for a seventeenth season, and the show is currently enjoying the highest ratings it has ever seen. And, that means Harmon will probably be starring on NCIS for the foreseeable future.
While Harmon remains committed to his role on the most-watched series on network television, he has had a few challenges during his career because of his demanding schedule. The 67-year-old says that there was a time in his career when his “fame” and “success” wasn’t worth it.
Harmon has been married to Mork & Mindy star Pam Dawber for more than thirty years, and the couple has two children. But, after the arrival of their first child in 1988, Harmon says he was stuck in New Guinea making a “not-very-good movie” when his son took his first steps.
“No job is worth missing life’s important moments,” said Harmon.
Missing this moment still weighs on Harmon, but he is thankful that his career has had more than its fair share of high notes.
New episodes of NCIS air Tuesday nights on CBS.